Mandatory jobseeking activity being specified by Jobcentre

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Dear Department for Work and Pensions,

Wakefield Jobcentre are specifying that claimants must do a minimum of 5 hours a day, 7 days a week (it is being written into their Jobseeker’s agreement with no prior discussion).

When I queried Jobcentre’s authority to specify that job seeking is to be done every day, I was informed that this was something they had been told by the District Manager (Ian Hunter).

1. Can you please let me have information regarding the authority of District Managers to specify jobseeking activity in this way, i.e. requiring activity on 7 days a week.

2. Could you also please let me have the current policy on mandatory work search requirements for JSA and UC, and whether Wakefield Jobcentre is now signing claimants for Universal Credit, and whether there is any difference between the availability for work and jobseeking activity requirements for those two benefits.

3. Could you also please let me have information regarding the requirements for advisers to call jobseekers in for more frequent meetings as a result of their not being given permission to view jobseeker’s Universal Jobmatch activity.

Yours faithfully,

M Stone

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Mary Sanderson left an annotation ()

Thanks

Rafe Orchard left an annotation ()

Mary Sanderson Please pass on your many "Thanks" on this website via private messages, tired of getting many updates across many requests I follow, that contain nothing of note.

Mary Sanderson left an annotation ()

It helps me to track/respond to FOI requests. Sorry about the messages only 5 in 6 weeks.

Many people do not pick their pms. I rarely pick up my own.

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M Stone
 
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Mary Sanderson left an annotation ()

Hello M Stone

A letter to your MP is warranted.

Your district is still operating under JSA legislation which a weekly test for actively seeking work. There is no requirement to look for work daily or x number of hours per day.

Even the UC legislation allows you the freedom to plan your own job search diary.

It would be unreasonable to force you to seek work on religious days for example.

In terms of Universal Credit, we consider it reasonable to expect that work search activity will take up the majority of a claimant’s time (normally 35 hours a week).

*** We will not specify how much work search a claimant must do each day therefore, whilst claimants must meet their requirements, they are free to organise what they do with their own time and manage their work search within this. However, we do encourage claimants to make a plan of what they will do and when, meaning some activities may be focused on particular days and times.

For example many local newspapers or trade magazines have set days when jobs are advertised.

Work search expectations will differ for each claimant depending on their individual circumstances and job goals. Advisers will tailor work search requirements for each claimant.

Universal Credit regulations allow that where a claimant has done all that could reasonably be expected of them, for example they have applied for all suitable jobs and undertaken all the activities set out in their work search and work preparation plan, this may be considered sufficient even where the time taken was less than the hours expected.

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